Claudia, it’s wonderful to hear from you.
A full day back, not without its small achievements, leaving me overwhelmed – as ever, when we get back from anywhere – with the amount there is to do, and my incompetence at doing it. Life always seems so manageable when we are in Strathardle, because we don’t manage it. No mail, no ironing, no cleaning (someone comes in and does it from time to time, unlike here). And a dishwashing machine, also unlike here.
So let’s think about knitting.
You saw this picture yesterday – the swatch for Ketki’s gansey. The issue today is – how to set the pattern on the sweater? The pattern has a 40-stitch repeat, and seven repeats will give me a reasonably-sized sweater.
a) One possibility would be simply to start at the left-hand seam-stitch at the point where Gladys Thompson starts, and let the pattern fall where it will.
b) But it would be nice to centre either the stitch at the centre of that tree-of-life thing (we’ll call it the spine-stitch), or that bit of broken rib. The difficulty there is that you can’t exactly centre one stitch, or seven (the broken rib), in an even number. OK, so centre the spine stitch on one of the two centre stitches of the gansey, and hope no one notices the slight discrepancy.
c) But when you flip through the books, the ganseys all look so meticulously planned. Some one would notice. So perhaps I could stop perhaps four inches short of the top, introduce some definition rows (I think that’s Brown-Reinsel’s phrase for them) and then a panel, perhaps even seed stitch, of something un-centre-able. That would keep the spine-stitch far enough away from the neck to avoid detection. Perhaps.
d) Or what about removing one stitch, front and back, so that I have an odd number, and the spine stitch can be centered precisely. What about the back, in that case? Centre it again? In which case there would be a considerable discrepancy at the (false) seams.
e) Or centre the spine-stitch in the front, and from there, just knit the pattern, leaving out one stitch of it at each seam?
I think I’ll probably go for e), but I was taken aback to discover how many choices there are.
VK is here, not without interest, and Knitting must be about to arrive. There are still comments to comment on, from before we went away. But there I think I’ll leave things for today.